Last week, I wrote about how the Nintendo Wii is the first emotional video game system, since it forces your body to become involved in playing the game. (Fans of Wiliam James and Antonio Damasio will know what I’m talking about: all of our feelings actually begin in the flesh.)
But now it turns out that all this Wii exercise has some negative consequences. Video game fanatics are really out of shape, and aren’t used to getting off the couch:
The new console has been wildly successful, selling out at stores and winning high marks from critics and game buffs. But as players spend more time with the Wii, some are noticing that hours waving the game’s controller around can add up to fairly intense exertion — resulting in aches and pains common in more familiar forms of exercise. They’re reporting aching backs, sore shoulders — even something some have dubbed “Wii elbow.”
“It’s harder than playing basketball,” says Kaitlin Franke, a 12-year-old from Louisville, Ky. She has been camped out in front of her family’s TV, fine-tuning her bowling motion and practicing boxing footwork in two of the Wii’s games. Almost immediately, she says, her right arm started to feel numb.
Her arm is numb? Is this poor kid having a stroke? And is the Wii the cure for childhood obesity? It’s about time Generation Z exercises something besides their thumbs.